Thursday, September 29, 2005


Wow havn't done this for AGES!! The past couple of months have been pretty hectic with the year list at an all time high!! not surprising really, given the time that I have been able to spend in the field.... The patch at Snettisham has produced some pretty decent birds, the best being a Buff breasted Sandpiper found by Mark Ward which turned up back in August. One of now 30 lifers this year, this was made better by finding 2 Dotteral there 2 days after and hearing that I had passed 8 out of 9 GCSEs!! Other hilights there have included 2 different Wrynecks and Osprey that I have managed to miss... twice!!

One of 3 Red backed Shrikes with this obliging bird at Stiffkeyand a very approachable Wryneck at Cley, one of 4 this Autumn. These birds were just part of a huge fall that hit the coast following NE winds and Drizzle with High pressure over Scandanavia, we were lucky enough to be at Burnham Norton that evening. Wheatears were everywhere with good numbers of Whinchats Redstarts pied flys etc the RBFlycatcher showed beautifuly though was something of a back up to the sheer numbers of birds present. A shame I didnt have time to explore all of the dunes....

Starting college on the 22nd September gave me a slight advantage as I was able to spend more time in Norfolk! This ment I was able to witness the pretty impressive seabird passage that took place on Fiday 16th a quick stop at Hunstanton added Sooty shearwater to the life list(finally!!) with at least 2 birds viewed distantly from the cliffs. Carrying on to Holme we were rewarded with our 1st Leaches Petrels and finished with a total of 9, certainly an ampressive sight against the backdrop af a raging sea. Not quite the variety that Sheringham had to offer, but still a great experience.

A Tawny Owl has regularly been using the small copse next to the road at Snettisham just outside the bungalow, though this is the 1st time I have seen one there since October 2004. Is this a young bird? there still appears to be some tufts above the eyes and the face appeared quite brown...

A small selcection of images taken whilst volunteering at Minsmere RSPB

I enjoyed a fantastic 2 weeks volunteering back in July and recorded 128 species over the 2 weeks, the Lesser crested Tern being the icing on the cake.

After being reported early on the Saturday the Marsh Sandpiper had seemingly dissapered, with no sighn of it for the rest of the day. I decided to try my luck on the Sunday and was out by 4am watching the Scapes just after 5. I was somewhat surprised to be the only birder on sight and quickly relocated the bird from the public viewing hide. Lovely views in brilliant light and the bird to put me one over the 300 mark. So many hilights and far too many to mention here. The Nightjar was taken whilst working on the heath after I flushed the bird from my feet, a great slice of luck to see it during the day and so close.

Hilights included... Spoonbill, Countless Bitterns (including 3 on the ground) Arctic, Roseate and White winged Black Terns, Dartford Warblers, Woodlark, Yellow legged Gulls, Crossbills etc

Other hilights/decent photos.....